Michael Chertoff, the former head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), recently remarked that “cyber threats represent one of the most seriously disruptive challenges to national security since the onset of the nuclear age 60 years ago.” Mr. Chertoff may be on to something. In its April 2012 monthly monitoring report, DHS announced that various companies in the national gas pipeline industry were apparently being targeted by cyber attacks. Between October 2011 and February 2012, DHS claimed that there were 86 reported attacks on U.S. computer systems controlling U.S. critical infrastructure.

To address these threats, several competing bills were recently introduced in Congress—however, it is unlikely that the current bills will be enacted into law in the near future.

The Pending Legislation

The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA)

On April 26, 2012, CISPA (a Republican-sponsored measure) passed the U.S. House of Representatives. CISPA takes the approach of facilitating greater sharing of cyber threat information among government and industry. CISPA does not mandate any minimum cybersecurity standards for private enterprise. Pursuant to CISPA:

  • Private companies may share “cyber threat information” with other entities, including the federal government.
  • Private entities may “use cybersecurity systems to identify and obtain cyber threat information.”
  • Private entities, acting in good faith, would be immune from lawsuits in federal or state courts in connection with certain actions taken pursuant to CISPA.
  • Cyber threat information shared with the federal government could be used for purposes other than countering cyber threats.

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]